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Back and Spinal Fitness at PUSH as Rx leads the field with a laser focus on supporting our youth sports programs. The PUSH-as-Rx System is a sport-specific athletic program designed by a strength-agility coach and physiology doctor with a combined 40 years of experience working with extreme athletes.

The program is the multidisciplinary study of reactive agility, body mechanics, and extreme motion dynamics at its core. A clear quantitative picture of body dynamics emerges through continuous and detailed assessments of the athletes in motion and under directly supervised stress loads.

Exposure to the biomechanical vulnerabilities is presented to our team. Immediately, we adjust our methods for our athletes to optimize performance. This highly adaptive system with continual dynamic adjustments has helped many of our athletes return faster, stronger, and ready post injury while safely minimizing recovery times.

Results demonstrate clear improved agility, speed, decreased reaction time with greatly improved postural-torque mechanics. PUSH-as-Rx offers specialized extreme performance enhancements to our athletes no matter the age.

A Guide to Motor Units: Benefits of Weight Training

A Guide to Motor Units: Benefits of Weight Training

For individuals starting to lift weights, motor units are important for muscle movement. Can building more motor units help build strength and maintain muscle mass?

A Guide to Motor Units: Benefits of Weight Training

Motor Units

Motor units control the skeletal muscles and are the force behind every body movement. (C J. Heckman, Roger M. Enoka 2012)
This includes voluntary movements like lifting weights and involuntary movements like breathing. When lifting objects and weights, the body adapts to motor unit needs, meaning that individuals must consistently increase the weight to progress.

  • Lifting weights regularly trains the body to generate more motor units and force.
  • General guidelines recommend lifting weights for all muscle groups two to three non-consecutive days a week.
  • Consistency helps maintain muscle mass.
  • Regular progression increases the risk of plateauing.

What They Are

Exercise increases the body’s muscle strength, while sedentariness and inactivity weaken them. A motor unit is a single nerve cell/neuron that supplies the nerves to innervate a group of skeletal muscles. The neuron receives signals from the brain that stimulate all the muscle fibers in that particular motor unit to generate movement.

  • Muscles comprise different fiber types.
  • They are attached to the bones with connective tissue, which is stronger than the muscle.
  • Multiple motor units are dispersed throughout the muscle.
  • The motor units help ensure muscle contraction force is evenly spread throughout the muscle.
  • Motor units are different sizes and operate differently depending on where and what they do.
  • Small motor units might only innervate five or ten fibers. For example, to blink or sniff.
  • Large motor units can comprise hundreds of muscle fibers for swinging or jumping movements.

How They Work

The number of units activated depends on the task. Stronger muscle contractions require more. However, fewer units are needed to accomplish the movement for individuals expending less effort.


  • Once a unit receives a signal from the brain, the muscle fibers contract simultaneously.
  • The force generated depends on how many units are required to accomplish the task. (Purves D. et al., 2001)
  • For example, picking up small objects like a pen and paper requires only a few units to generate the force needed.
  • If picking up a heavy barbell, the body needs more units because more force is needed to lift the heavier load.
  • The body can generate more force with stronger muscles.
  • This happens when lifting weights on a regular basis and overloading the muscles with more weight than they can handle.
  • This process is known as adaptation.


The purpose of lifting weights is to challenge the muscles so they adapt to the new challenge and grow in strength and mass. Motor units are a major part of the adaptation process. (Dr. Erin Nitschke. American Council on Exercise. 2017)

  • When first starting weight training, the brain recruits more units every time a muscle is contracted. (Pete McCall. American Council on Exercise. 2015)
  • As individuals continue working out, their ability to generate more force increases and units activate more rapidly.
  • This makes movements more efficient.
  • Individuals can increase motor unit recruitment by consistently increasing the weight challenge to their muscles.
  • The development creates movement memory.
  • A relationship between the brain, muscles, and motor units is established even if the individual stops working out. The pathways are still there no matter how long the individual takes off.
  • When returning to training, the body will remember how to ride a bike, do a bicep curl, or squat.
  • However, the muscles will not have the same strength as the strength needs to be built back along with endurance that may have been lost.
  • It is the movement memory that remains.

Military Training and Chiropractic Care: Maximizing Performance


Heckman, C. J., & Enoka, R. M. (2012). Motor unit. Comprehensive Physiology, 2(4), 2629–2682.

Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al., editors. (2001). Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001. The Motor Unit. Available from:

Dr. Erin Nitschke. American Council on Exercise. (2017). How Muscle Grows (Exercise Science, Issue.

Pete McCall. American Council on Exercise. (2015). 10 Things to Know About Muscle Fibers (Exercise Science, Issue.

Fine-Tune Your Walking Exercise: Increase Duration or Intensity!

Fine-Tune Your Walking Exercise: Increase Duration or Intensity!

For individuals who have decided to start exercising for fitness and health, walking is a great place to start. Can planning a walking exercise schedule help individuals maintain a fitness routine and improve endurance and speed quicker?

Fine-Tune Your Walking Exercise: Increase Duration or Intensity!

Walking Exercise Planning Schedule

While any amount of walking benefits health, individuals can increase the benefits by walking more per week or by increasing the pace. Brisk walking for 30 minutes per day, totaling 150 minutes per week, is recommended by health experts to decrease risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022)

  • Individuals with ongoing health conditions should talk to their doctor before starting any new exercise program.
  • Beginners are encouraged to focus on using proper walking posture and technique to steadily improve strength and endurance.
  • The increased duration or intensity can help if weight loss is a goal.
  • Improving diet is also necessary for the best results.
  • Individuals can build healthy walking habits by tracking walks.



  • Individuals can walk outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill.
  • Wear proper athletic shoes and clothing.
  • Check walking posture.
  • Walk at an easy pace for a couple of minutes before picking up speed.

First Week

An example of what a walking exercise schedule can look like, but it’s advised to consult a professional trainer to develop a personalized fitness plan.

  • Start with a 15-minute walk at an easy pace.
  • Walk five days the first week.
  • Building a healthy habit is the goal, so consistency is important.
  • Spread out rest days, like making days 3 and 6 rest days.
  • Weekly goal – 60 to 75 minutes

Second Week

  • Add five minutes, so the walk time increases gradually.
    Or, individuals can extend more on some days, followed by a rest day.
  • Weekly goal – 80 to 100 minutes

Third Week

  • Add five more minutes with each session, so the walk increases to 25 minutes.
  • Weekly goal – 100 to 125 minutes

Fourth Week

  • Add another five minutes to increase the walk to 30 minutes.
  • Weekly goal – 120 to 150 minutes

Individuals who find any week to be difficult are suggested to repeat that week instead of adding time until they are able to progress naturally. Once able to walk for 30 minutes at a time comfortably, individuals are ready for a variety of different walking exercise workouts to add intensity and endurance. A weekly walking plan can include:

  • Longer walks
  • Higher-intensity walks
  • Speed-building walks

Beginner Walking Speed

An individual’s objective should be brisk walking to achieve a moderate-intensity workout. This is the intensity that is associated with the most health benefits.

Brisk walking should feel like:

  • Breathing is heavier than normal.
  • Able to carry a full conversation while walking.
  • Not out of breath. (Siti Ruzita Mahmod et al., 2018)
  • If the speed is slower and the heart rate is lower during the initial weeks, this is normal.
  1. The first goal is to walk for 30 to 60 minutes a day without injury.
  2. Adding speed and intensity gradually.
  3. Staying consistent in regularly walking before trying to walk faster and longer.
  4. Using proper walking posture and arm motion will help in faster walking.
  5. To reduce the risk of injury, gradually increase the length of the walk or pace, only changing one component at a time.

Individuals may consider joining a walking group or club to have others to walk with and an incentive to maintain regular walking.

Home Exercises for Pain Relief


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need? Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Measuring Physical Activity Intensity. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate. Retrieved from

Mahmod, S. R., Narayanan, L. T., & Supriyanto, E. (2018). Effects of incremental cardiorespiratory exercise on the speech rate and the estimated exercise intensity using the counting talk test. Journal of physical therapy science, 30(7), 933–937.

Create a Winning Fitness Mindset with These Strategies

Create a Winning Fitness Mindset with These Strategies

For individuals that are feeling unmotivated to work out and exercise can developing a fitness mindset help improve and maintain motivation?

Create a Winning Fitness Mindset with These Strategies

Fitness Mindset Motivation

Learning to exercise as part of a regular workout routine can have a significant impact on health and well-being. In the beginning, individuals are all in, but as time goes on, mental blocks can interfere with workout motivation. Being flexible with oneself and fitness/health goals is part of the process, and overcoming mental blocks is key to maintaining motivation. It’s all about creating a fitness mindset to maintain confidence and motivation and enjoy the benefits of regular exercise.

Feeling Tired

When feeling tired, individuals should ask themselves if it’s physical or mental fatigue. If the exhaustion is not from lack of sleep, illness, or a physically demanding job, it is more than likely mental tiredness. Mental exhaustion can often feel physical, and a recommended cure is physical activity. Often, once an individual starts working out and gets over the mental fatigue, they feel better. (Juriena D. de Vries et al., 2016) Regular physical activity can increase energy levels and leave the body feeling less fatigued. (Bryan D. Loy et al., 2013) However, individuals need to make sure there is ample recovery time to repair and restore the body after working out.


Sometimes there is a small voice that says to take a day off or perform an easier workout. It’s okay to be flexible, but most times, individuals need to be ready to stand up to the skip-the-workout voices and stay motivated.

Remove Obstacles

  • Remove obstacles that can distract from exercising.
  • Have the workout gear ready and exercise time pre-scheduled so there are no second thoughts.
  • If limited space is an issue, find compact equipment like a cordless jump rope that doesn’t require a lot of room.

Don’t Allow Relaxation Takeover

  • Individuals who plan to exercise after school or work shouldn’t go home, sit down, and relax watching TV before working out.
  • Individuals who may need a transition to work out should try something gentle but active, like stretching or doing a light chore.
  • Individuals who exercise in the morning should wear their workout clothes immediately, so they can’t second guess and can continue their workout.
  • Remind yourself of the reasons for committing to exercise.

Research shows that using second-person self-talk can help maintain motivation. Encouraging oneself with phrases like you can do this, you got this, or you are going to achieve your fitness goals improves the chances of obtaining the desired outcome. (Sanda Dolcos, Dolores Albarracin. 2014)

Fight Through The Doubt

Start with small steps. Ask if doubt is stopping you from starting. If doubt begins to arise:

Ask For Help

  • A colleague, friend, or partner can help reinspire motivation.
  • Tell them about the challenges of sticking with exercise.
  • Ask them to work out together.

Do What Is Possible

  • If working out for 30 minutes is too difficult, don’t worry about it.
  • Go for as long as possible and try for more the next time.
  • Keep it simple and make it count. (Margie E. Lachman et al., 2018)

Redefine Exercise

  • Working out can feel like a job, but it does not have to.
  • For example, individuals sitting or standing all day can approach the workout as 30 minutes to get out and move around.
  • Or, after getting the kids settled in, it is time to do something for yourself and exercise the stress away.

Healthy Reminders

  • Write inspirational fitness mindset notes and put them where they will be seen regularly.
  • These can be exercise goals; for example, I will exercise for 30 minutes because I want more energy, better sleep, strength, etc.

Train The Brain For Exercise

When the issue is motivation, the mind needs to be convinced to exercise. How to use mind-over-matter skills:


  • When finishing a workout, rewards can help.
  • Exercise has its own rewards – more energy, improved mood, stress relief, and reduced disease risk.
  • Maybe a new pair of shoes, earbuds or headphones, workout equipment, or a massage will increase motivation.

Make A Deal

  • Continue to exercise for whatever amount of time, and if the desire to stop is still present, then stop.
  • Nine times out of 10, individuals will keep going.


  • Make-believe can encourage the fitness mindset.
  • Pretending to be in a race, or in a movie, anything that makes the body want to move.

Set Achievable Goals

  • Making difficult goals can generate the fear of being unable to achieve them.
  • Aim for small achievable goals that go along with a bigger overall goal.
  • That way, there are more victories, and the motivation to keep moving is maintained.


  • Healthy competition can be a great motivator.
  • Competing with oneself for faster times, heavier weights, or more frequency can keep the inspiration going.
  • Social media and apps to compete with family and friends can also help.


  • Athletes use visualization techniques of going through the game, match, and tournament to get themselves prepared and ready to execute what they’ve been practicing.
  • Individuals can do the same thing by picturing themselves going through their workout from beginning to end.
  • Visualize the workout and the success of finishing, and make it happen. (Fritz Renner et al., 2019)

Work Things Out

  • Exercise provides meditation time to think about problems and challenges.
  • Use the workout time to work through the problems and refocus strategies to solve them.

Process Goals

  • Choosing specific goals that are part of the workout process, like working out 3-4 times per week, is recommended compared to using outcome goals, like losing ten pounds.
  • Outcome goals can be out of the individual’s control; instead, focus on the steps to achieve the goals, which lessens stress and is a more controllable method of working out. (Kylie Wilson Darren Brookfield. 2011)

Changing lifestyle to include exercise is not easy. The most important step is having the right attitude. (Margie E. Lachman et al., 2018) Thinking about exercise as an obligation will discourage motivation. Instead, create a fitness mindset to treat exercise like a break from all the stress and a reward for the mind and body to a healthier life.

Home Exercises for Pain Relief


de Vries, J. D., van Hooff, M. L., Geurts, S. A., & Kompier, M. A. (2016). Exercise as an Intervention to Reduce Study-Related Fatigue among University Students: A Two-Arm Parallel Randomized Controlled Trial. PloS one, 11(3), e0152137.

Bryan D. Loy, Patrick J. O’Connor & Rodney K. Dishman (2013) The effect of a single bout of exercise on energy and fatigue states: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, 1:4, 223-242, DOI: 10.1080/21641846.2013.843266

Dolcos S, Albarracin D. (2014). The inner speech of behavioral regulation: Intentions and task performance strengthen when you talk to yourself as a You. Eur J Social Psychol. 44(6):636-642. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2048.

Lachman, M. E., Lipsitz, L., Lubben, J., Castaneda-Sceppa, C., & Jette, A. M. (2018). When Adults Don’t Exercise: Behavioral Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in Sedentary Middle-Aged and Older Adults. Innovation in aging, 2(1), igy007.

Renner, F., Murphy, F. C., Ji, J. L., Manly, T., & Holmes, E. A. (2019). Mental imagery as a “motivational amplifier” to promote activities. Behaviour research and therapy, 114, 51–59.

Kylie Wilson & Darren Brookfield (2009). Effect of Goal Setting on Motivation and Adherence in a Six‐Week Exercise Program, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7:1, 89-100, DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2009.9671894

What To Know About High-Intensity Interval Training | El Paso, TX.

What To Know About High-Intensity Interval Training | El Paso, TX.

Chiropractic is more than just spinal adjustments. It is a whole-body therapy that may include health supplements, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes that include exercise. By getting the patient to take specific steps, chiropractors make them a vital participant in their healing.

Exercise is outstanding for not only healing but also for the prevention of injury and certain health conditions. Regular exercise helps to reduce weight, improve flexibility, mobility, and balance, build muscle, and increase stamina. However, most people do not get enough exercise. The main reason they give is that they do not have the time. There is an exercise method, though, that can get incredible results in just 12 minutes a day or less: High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

What is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training is an exercise method that involves alternating segments of high-intensity activity and low-intensity activity.

After a 2-minute warm-up, you may try any of these HIIT exercises:

  • Sprint for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes, repeat several times
  • On a stationary bike, pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then slow it down for about 1 minute and repeat several times.
  • Jump rope, double time for 30 seconds, then jump-walk for 1 minute.

The thing that makes HIIT so appealing to so many patients is its adaptability. Patients can adapt it to any fitness activity that they enjoy doing. It also works much faster than most traditional exercise methods. Where most exercises must be done for an hour or more, HIIT only requires about 15 – 12 minutes, and it provides an excellent cardio workout, so it helps to increase metabolism.

In a few weeks, patients will see noticeable improvements, including weight loss, increased endurance, and more strength. It doesn’t require equipment unless the patient wants to use a bike, kettlebell, jump rope, or other devices to enhance their workout. The patient is also always in complete control. They can decide the workout level and intensity that is right for them.

high intensity interval training el paso tx.


Benefits of HIIT

HIIT has several tremendous benefits, including apparent weight loss and fitness-related perks. A 2012 presentation at the European Society of Cardiology revealed another advantage. Exercise activates an enzyme, telomerase, which slows the again process. HIIT stimulates the release of telomerase while reducing p53 expression, a protein that promotes premature aging, at the same time.

In other words, HIIT can help to slow or arrest the aging process. Other youth-oriented benefits of HIIT include:

  • Improved muscle tone
  • More energy
  • Firmer skin
  • Lower body fat
  • Increased libido
  • Fewer wrinkles

HIIT can also help to balance certain hormones in the body that contribute to unhealthy eating habits (such as stress eating) and weight gain. The hormones leptin and ghrelin are responsible for weight. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is often responsible for giving you munchies and causing cravings for salty, sweet, and fried foods. Leptin is the hormone that alerts your body when you’ve had enough to eat. It gives that full signal. When these two hormones are not acting as they should, it can result in obesity and other problems.

Staying fit and healthy is integral to maintaining a healthy body and spine. This is why chiropractors so often recommend HIIT. It helps to get the body healthy and fit so that when problems arise, it can significantly contribute to healing itself. If you need to drop a few pounds or want to be more appropriate, talk to your chiropractor about HIIT and get results fast.

Integrated Chiropractic & Rehab

The Essential Guide to Taking a Workout Break

The Essential Guide to Taking a Workout Break

For athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and individuals getting into regular exercise, can taking a workout break be beneficial if structured properly?

The Essential Guide to Taking a Workout Break

Workout Break

Giving oneself permission to take a break from exercising is necessary, especially to maintain a current fitness level. To stay fit at every level and injury-free, the body needs rest and recovery, especially to progress in performance levels. Regular exercise is important for:

  • Building endurance
  • Improving strength
  • Losing and maintaining weight
  • Relieving stress

What Is It?

A voluntary pause/workout break is a dedicated amount of time when the individual chooses not to work out. It is typically a response to individual body cues when the person knows their mind and body need to take a break from exercising. A workout break is different than a rest day as it may last one or two weeks from the regular training routine. Individuals may need to take a break because the workouts are becoming boring and/or the possibility of burning out or overtraining.

Fitness Impact

  • Studies on recreational soccer players showed that three to six weeks of inactivity did not change aerobic capacity and muscle strength. (Chang Hwa Joo. 2018)
  • Extremely fit individuals will experience a rapid drop in fitness during the first three weeks of inactivity before leveling off. (Chang Hwa Joo. 2018)
  • It takes about two months of inactivity to lose the gains made completely. (Jonny St-Amand et al., 2012)

Medical experts provide terms for individuals who may be doing too much:

  1. Overreaching is when the training becomes excessive, and performance begins to fall. It can be short- or long-term.
  2. Overtraining occurs when overreaching is not addressed.
  3. Overtraining syndrome/OTS lasts longer and results in more serious performance setbacks along with symptoms like hormone changes, depression, fatigue, and systemic inflammation. (Jeffrey B. Kreher. 2016)
  4. Overreaching or overtraining feels like fitness progress is moving backward instead of forward. The more training, the slower and more fatigued the body becomes.
  5. Endurance athletes have an increased risk of overreaching and overtraining. (Jeffrey B. Kreher. 2016)
  6. The endurance mindset encourages pushing more hours of training to get stronger and faster. However, at a certain point, performance suffers.
  7. Some research suggests using the term paradoxical deconditioning syndrome that can lead to overtraining. (Flavio A. Cadegiani, Claudio Elias Kater. 2019)

Break Benefits

Taking a break allows the restoration of balance to focus on work or school, manage various life events, and enjoy friends and family time. Studies have suggested that achieving a better work/life balance can improve:

  • Job performance and satisfaction.
  • Organization
  • Life and family satisfaction.
  • Fitness, life balance, and health vary for everybody. (Andrea Gragnano et al., 2020)
  • Overtraining usually results from training too much and insufficient recovery.
  • Fitness and training experts recommend rest and light training as therapy for overtraining. (Jeffrey B. Kreher. 2016)

Signs The Body Needs A Break

A few signs and common symptoms may indicate a workout break may be needed.

  • Constantly unmotivated or bored
  • Not looking forward to working out
  • Poor performance
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Soreness that does not resolve
  • Lack of progress in workouts

Alternate Activities

During the workout break, engage in other active things that work the body differently, like playing table tennis, for example, or activities that are fun but keep the body moving without doing hard workouts. Remember, the body doesn’t have to be completely inactive. Individuals can try out:

  • Leisurely bike riding
  • Dancing
  • Climbing
  • Easy yardwork
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Stretching

Returning To Working Out

It could feel like starting over, but it won’t take long for the body to remember how to exercise. It just needs to get used to working out again. It can be tempting to jump into an all-out workout routine, but that is not recommended because of the risk of injury. Here are a few basic principles to keep the body strong and healthy while easing back into a regular workout routine.

Start Simple

  • Start with a lighter version of the regular routine using lighter weights and less intensity.

Give The Body Time

  • Use the first two weeks for the body to get used to the workouts.
  • It can take up to three weeks to get back, depending on workouts before and how much relaxation time has passed.

Take Extra Rest Days

  • Returning to exercise means the body is going to be extra sore.
  • Plan extra recovery days so the body can heal and gain strength.
  • Each week, gradually increase the intensity until it is back to regular performance.

Revolutionizing Healthcare


Joo C. H. (2018). The effects of short term detraining and retraining on physical fitness in elite soccer players. PloS one, 13(5), e0196212.

St-Amand, J., Yoshioka, M., Nishida, Y., Tobina, T., Shono, N., & Tanaka, H. (2012). Effects of mild-exercise training cessation in human skeletal muscle. European journal of applied physiology, 112(3), 853–869.

Kreher J. B. (2016). Diagnosis and prevention of overtraining syndrome: an opinion on education strategies. Open access journal of sports medicine, 7, 115–122.

Cadegiani, F. A., & Kater, C. E. (2019). Novel insights of overtraining syndrome discovered from the EROS study. BMJ open sport & exercise medicine, 5(1), e000542.

Gragnano, A., Simbula, S., & Miglioretti, M. (2020). Work-Life Balance: Weighing the Importance of Work-Family and Work-Health Balance. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(3), 907.

Boost Muscle Protein Synthesis: Understand The Process

Boost Muscle Protein Synthesis: Understand The Process

For individuals trying to optimize muscle growth, protein intake is essential. However, the body is limited by how much protein can synthesize to repair and grow muscles. Can knowing protein intake timing, amount, and how to best stimulate muscle growth help achieve better results?

Boost Muscle Protein Synthesis: Understand The Process

Muscle Protein Synthesis

Muscle protein synthesis is a physiological process of producing new muscle protein and is an important component of how the body maintains and builds muscle. Muscle growth is achieved with resistance training and protein intake. (Tanner Stokes, et al., 2018)

How Protein Synthesis Works

Protein is the building block of muscles, while protein synthesis is a natural metabolic process in which protein is produced to repair muscle damage caused by exercise. This happens from amino acids binding to skeletal muscle proteins, increasing muscle size. It counteracts muscle protein breakdown (MPB) due to protein loss during exercise. The breakdown of muscles is a necessary part of building muscle. When damaged, muscles will build back larger, so long as enough calories and protein are consumed to repair and grow the muscles. Muscle protein synthesis can be enhanced by increasing protein intake immediately following exercise. Learning to stimulate muscle protein synthesis through exercise and diet can help accelerate muscle growth, expedite recovery, improve physical performance, and increase overall endurance. (Cameron J. Mitchell et al., 2014)

Effects of Exercise

Protein balance describes the relationship between muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis. When the body is in protein balance, no muscle growth or wasting occurs, and the individual is considered in a healthy state of biological equilibrium/homeostasis, also known as maintenance. To stimulate muscle growth, individuals need to shake up the protein balance. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, exercise can break down muscle protein, but not more than the amount of protein the body can synthesize. (Felipe Damas, et al., 2015) The more intense the workout, the greater the muscle protein synthesis, as the muscle breakdown stimulates the repair and growth of tissues. Scientists measure intensity by the one-repetition maximum – 1-RM – meaning the maximum weight an individual can lift for one repetition. According to a research study, workout intensities of under 40% of the 1-RM will not affect muscle protein synthesis. And intensities greater than 60% will double or triple muscle protein synthesis. (P. J. Atherton, K Smith. 2012)

Food Impact

The relationship between diet and protein balance is not so straightforward. Even with increased protein intake, muscle protein synthesis occurs for a specific period. This is because the body can only utilize a certain amount of the essential amino acids it receives, with anything more being broken down and excreted by the liver. Nutritionists recommend about 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for building muscle and strength. (Ralf Jäger, et al., 2017) Enough protein can be obtained by focusing on dairy, eggs, lean meats, nuts, and legumes. It is also recommended to consume enough whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables to help the body perform and repair properly. For example, carbohydrates are necessary for muscle building as they stimulate insulin release that supports muscle cell protein absorption. (Vandré Casagrande Figueiredo, David Cameron-Smith. 2013) A study looked into response rates in men prescribed 10, 20, or 40 grams of whey protein immediately following resistance training. Researchers noted the following results: (Oliver C. Witard et al., 2014)

  • 10 grams of whey protein – No effect on muscle protein synthesis.
  • 20 grams – Increased muscle protein synthesis by 49%.
  • 40 grams – Increased the muscle protein synthesis by 56% but also caused the excessive accumulation of urea.
  • Consuming 20 grams to 40 grams of whey protein after resistance training also increased other essential amino acids associated with lean muscle growth. (Lindsay S. Macnaughton et al., 2016)
  • Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein.
  • Increased results can be obtained by consuming slower-digesting protein throughout the day.

Muscle gains vary from person to person as everyone’s body is different. Individuals considering consuming protein beyond the recommended dietary intake should consult their doctor or a registered nutritionist to understand the potential benefits and risks.

Building A Stronger Body


Stokes, T., Hector, A. J., Morton, R. W., McGlory, C., & Phillips, S. M. (2018). Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training. Nutrients, 10(2), 180.

Mitchell, C. J., Churchward-Venne, T. A., Parise, G., Bellamy, L., Baker, S. K., Smith, K., Atherton, P. J., & Phillips, S. M. (2014). Acute post-exercise myofibrillar protein synthesis is not correlated with resistance training-induced muscle hypertrophy in young men. PloS one, 9(2), e89431.

Damas, F., Phillips, S., Vechin, F. C., & Ugrinowitsch, C. (2015). A review of resistance training-induced changes in skeletal muscle protein synthesis and their contribution to hypertrophy. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 45(6), 801–807.

Atherton, P. J., & Smith, K. (2012). Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise. The Journal of physiology, 590(5), 1049–1057.

Jäger, R., Kerksick, C. M., Campbell, B. I., Cribb, P. J., Wells, S. D., Skwiat, T. M., Purpura, M., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Ferrando, A. A., Arent, S. M., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Arciero, P. J., Ormsbee, M. J., Taylor, L. W., Wilborn, C. D., Kalman, D. S., Kreider, R. B., Willoughby, D. S., Hoffman, J. R., … Antonio, J. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 20.

Figueiredo, V. C., & Cameron-Smith, D. (2013). Is carbohydrate needed to further stimulate muscle protein synthesis/hypertrophy following resistance exercise?. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 42.

Witard, O. C., Jackman, S. R., Breen, L., Smith, K., Selby, A., & Tipton, K. D. (2014). Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(1), 86–95.

Macnaughton, L. S., Wardle, S. L., Witard, O. C., McGlory, C., Hamilton, D. L., Jeromson, S., Lawrence, C. E., Wallis, G. A., & Tipton, K. D. (2016). The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole-body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological reports, 4(15), e12893.

Get Stronger with Wearable Weights: All You Need To Know

Get Stronger with Wearable Weights: All You Need To Know

For individuals wanting to improve their fitness routine can incorporating wearable weights and knowing how to use them effectively help achieve health goals?

Get Stronger with Wearable Weights: All You Need To Know

Wearable Weights

Adding wearable weights allows individuals to use their body weight with added resistance. This can add strength training to a routine but can also be used during walks or runs to increase cardiovascular health and aid in weight loss. Research studies have found that wearing a weighted vest reduces body weight and fat mass. This is because heavier loads increase energy expenditure for the increase in physical workload. (Claes Ohlsson, et al., 2020)


Wearable weights are easy to use.

  • Depending on the type, they are compact and can be taken on the go.
  • Wearing weights is an option for individuals with injuries or degenerative joint disease like arthritis that makes it difficult to hold or move weights.
  • Exercise has been proven to be a useful tool for treating osteoarthritis. (Lei Chen, Yan Yu. 2020)
  • There is no age limit for wearable weights.
  • Because many are only a few pounds, they are available to anyone from adolescents to the elderly.
  • Anyone can benefit from the different types of wearable weights.


Three main types of wearable weights include wrist weights, ankle weights, and weighted vests.

  • Wrist weights can replace dumbbells in some cases.
  • They are typically between 1 to 10 pounds.
  • Ankle weights can provide extra resistance to leg motions.
  • They can be found from 1 pound up to 20 pounds.
  • Weighted vests provide a full-body challenge.
  • The weight choices for them vary, as most contain pockets where weight can be increased or decreased.

Using The Weights

Individuals can use wearable weights as a complement to strength and cardiovascular regimens. Beginners will want to start with lighter weights worn for less time. As the body becomes stronger, it’s important to increase the weight to see results.

Ankle Weights

  • Ankle weights can be used during a strength training workout to add resistance to lower body exercises.
  • As the body ages, it becomes more important to decrease the risk of falls by increasing lower limb and trunk strength.
  • Wearing ankle weights is recommended to build strength, especially in older adults. (Hiroyasu Akatsu, et al., 2022)
  • Individuals can wear them during a walk or run to increase the challenge.
  • They can be used for a high-level core workout.

Wrist Weights

  • Wrist weights can be used like dumbbells and worn during a walk or a run.
  • Research shows that walking with wrist weights can improve walking gait. (Hyung Suk Yang, et al., 2018)
  • Wearing weights on the wrists generates a higher energy expenditure, which allows one to add intensity to a walk or run without having to increase speed. (Catherine T. Campaña, Pablo B Costa. 2017)

Weighted Vests

  • Wearing a weighted vest during workouts will create a full-body challenge.
  • They can be used while walking or running and automatically add more difficulty.
  • Another way to utilize a weighted vest is to wear it while completing a regular workout.
  • Whether doing HITT, strength training, etc, individuals can wear a weighted vest.
  • The weight should be evenly distributed to prevent any injuries or functional disorders to the lower body.
  • Studies show no change in gait or an increased risk of injury when used correctly. (Christopher J. Gaffney, et al., 2022)

Individuals want to talk to a healthcare provider before beginning a new fitness program, and adding weights is no different, especially if there are any current or past injuries.

Is Motion Key To Healing?


Ohlsson, C., Gidestrand, E., Bellman, J., Larsson, C., Palsdottir, V., Hägg, D., Jansson, P. A., & Jansson, J. O. (2020). Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial. EClinicalMedicine, 22, 100338.

Chen, L., & Yu, Y. (2020). Exercise and Osteoarthritis. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1228, 219–231.

Akatsu, H., Manabe, T., Kawade, Y., Masaki, Y., Hoshino, S., Jo, T., Kobayashi, S., Hayakawa, T., & Ohara, H. (2022). Effect of Ankle Weights as a Frailty Prevention Strategy in the Community-Dwelling Elderly: A Preliminary Report. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(12), 7350.

Yang, H. S., James, C. R., Atkins, L. T., Sawyer, S. F., Sizer, P. S., Jr, Kumar, N. A., & Kim, J. (2018). Effects of arm weight on gait performance in healthy subjects. Human movement science, 60, 40–47.

Campaña, C. T., & Costa, P. B. (2017). Effects of walking with hand-held weights on energy expenditure and excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, 13(6), 641–646.

Gaffney, C. J., Cunnington, J., Rattley, K., Wrench, E., Dyche, C., & Bampouras, T. M. (2022). Weighted vests in CrossFit increase physiological stress during walking and running without changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters. Ergonomics, 65(1), 147–158.